The Boston Globe is keeping an interesting weblog on careers and such. They call it a "Job Blog" and one of the guys, er Jason Butler, who came up with the idea says he was influenced by something I wrote when I pointed out my wife is looking for a job. Great job! (I found that Mercury News link here).
Is PowerPoint evil? That's the question the San Jose Mercury News asked the other day.
It was just pointed out to me that MSDN has been listing Microsoft weblogs for a while now. That tells me that weblogs are on the radar screen at Microsoft. It took Microsoft 31 months to react to instant messaging (well, actually, it took 31 months for Microsoft to release a product after ICQ was released in November 1996, but I know that Microsoft tried to buy ICQ way before they released MSN Messenger). I wonder what Microsoft is up to in the weblog space? Wouldn't it be interesting to hear Gates and Ballmer talk about weblogs? I think I'll ask them about what they are gonna do about weblogs at the MVP Summit I'll be attending Feb. 9-13.
Joel Spolsky had a bad week last week. Yikes, that reminds me to back up my own drives.
Am I the only one who hates Don Box's weblog format? Dude, why force me to scroll down just to read today's post?
A ton of people have been telling me "you've gotta get your NEC Tablet listed on Gizmodo." I agree, what an awesome toy site. I hear that a large percentage of the computer press checks Gizmodo out every day.
I've gotta give credit where it's due. Microsoft has seen an explosion in bloggers lately (here's photos of a recent Microsoft blogger dinner). Well, OK, out of its 50,000 employees, Microsoft only has a dozen or so who blog openly, but it's a start. I predict that soon we'll see Gates and Ballmer blogging. Weblogs are too powerful a marketing vehicle to ignore. Yeah, a good list of Microsoft bloggers is on Joshua Allen's blog.
Matt Williams, who works at Microsoft, says he loves Toshiba's new Tablet. Interesting. Wait until you see ours!
Speaking of RSS advancements at Microsoft, has anyone noticed that there are five different RSS news aggregators built using Microsoft's .NET technology? Oh yeah, Ziv Caspi did.
Speaking of Abderaware, I like its web site. Clean. No hypy marketing text. Just a focus on the product. He doesn't advertise, either, so the only way you'll hear about it is to hear about it from a friend. Which you just did.
I'm excited. I'm going to eat at the sushiwhore (Mashiko) on Feb. 9. I hear they have the best sushi in the nation (they are located in Seattle). We'll see. By the way, you can't be in the top 5% of sushi places unless you serve real wasabi (most sushi places don't). Mashiko has real wasabi, my friends Nancy and Zane report (they are the ones who say that this place is the best in the nation). You might know Zane by his day job: he's the founder of a .NET component vendor named Abderaware.
Richard Soderberg notices that in many communities he's an outsider because he doesn't know how to speak the language. Yeah, I've noticed this myself. Usually community members behave like this because you didn't take the time to do some homework. For instance, if someone asks me "what does the start button do?" I probably won't take the time to answer. Why? Because I just don't have the patience to hold someone's hand who obviously didn't take the time to try it themselves (and, there are far better places for people to learn the basics of computers than to get me to teach them).
Look at it this way. I'm too expensive for them. I've built up a set of knowledge that's better used by people who are at least intermediate with computers and trying to be useful with them. Society is better served if I spend my time with those kinds of folks, and let the abject beginners read a book or something first.
So, don't take offense. That community might have built up skills that are just too expensive to spend on you at the moment. Find somewhere else to build up the skills to join the community, if it's important to you.
Sam Gentile has a new daughter. Awesome! Heh, work doesn't seem so important anymore, huh? Wait until you start thinking about putting her through college! Or paying for her wedding! Heck, how about paying for diapers and Spongebob DVDs? That's enough to make anyone feel lucky to have a job in this economy.
Seriously, dude, enjoy every minute. It goes so freaking fast. I can't believe Patrick is nine already (his birthday was January 14. Mine was January 18).
How sweet. My brother is sticking up for me. The truth is, I told IT guys to update their servers and I got pounced on. Funny enough, today it was reported that Microsoft had trouble updating its own servers. Yeah, it's tough. Yeah, when you load patches it'll probably screw things up. Wait a second, SQL Server isn't being run by idiots. First of all, it's a server that costs thousands of dollars. Second of all, why is it so hard to patch? Microsoft really needs to do a better job here. Some things I'd like:
1) Make a full patched version available to MSDN Subscribers the day a patch is released. Why is that important? It's easier to simply clean install and reload everything that way. Remember the day that Windows XP was released? There was 20MB of various patches to download and install. That's ridiculous.
2) Have a central place where everyone can go look for the latest version of their software. Heck, this is one time I wish Microsoft would do a scan of my hard drive and say "hey, you have an old version of SQL Server loaded, here's a newer one."
3) Make it so that patches don't need to reboot my machine. You want me to take down a server that might be serving thousands of people at the same time? Yeah, right.
4) Use your stupid product activation for something useful. After I activate something, why don't you have your software check occassionally with Microsoft and tell me when new patches are available? "Hey, Scoble, you have SQL Server v. xx.xx, but there's a patch for that, click here for more."
5) Start a weblog with an RSS feed. Everytime something at Microsoft gets patched, or updated, write it to that weblog. That way every morning I could check and see if Train Simulator has some patch or something.
6) Instead of charging per copy for software, how about charge per year? Just like MSDN Subscriptions? Sell me a three-year membership to SQL Server. Yeah, I'm sure the Linux freaks will hate that idea, but software costs money to keep up to date. Why not make your customers pay for it? Why not make it impossible to run if you don't keep it up? Hey, that monopoly power has to be good for something, right? If folks want to run the same version of something for ever, let them move to Linux. Guess what, after Linux gets up to 10% market share the virus writers will start attacking it too.
Anyway, I still stick by my guns. If you're gonna put servers up there, make sure you can support them long term. Too many companies don't have patching policies in place and don't have a duplicate set of servers to test on. The excuse that "my custom software may stop running" is just lame. Folks, you're "professionals" remember? I wonder if any other industry gives these kinds of excuses? This isn't a Microsoft problem, it's an industry problem, and we better solve it together or we're gonna lose billions of dollars in downtime.
I just listened to President Bush's speech. I moved a little closer to the hawk position, but still haven't crossed the line. We've switched from a country that says "we'll kick your ass, only if you kick ours first" to "we're gonna kick your ass before you can even try to kick ours*" The asterisk is for "that is, unless you already have nukes like North Korea."
That said, looks like we're going to war unless Saddam pulls a miracle out of his hat. I just hope it's short and there's a minimum of casualties on both sides. If Saddam's military is smart, they'll just paint a yellow line to where Saddam is staying and help us guide our bombs in. Knowing how they think, though, they'll probably surround Saddam's palace with a bunch of kids. It's gonna be a messy war. You're gonna see pictures of this one, folks. Get ready for ugly stuff to hit near you.